SXSW Review: Asleep At The Wheel, March 19, Waterloo Records

asleep at the wheel

Waterloo Records is a bit of an Austin institution. Over the years, the store has always hosted an impressive and varied lineup for their SXSW day parties and this year was no exception. Thursday afternoon’s lineup focused on the roots/country end of things with Asleep At The Wheel taking the 1pm slot. The Texas swing legends recently paid tribute to the man who pioneered the genre, Bob Wills, on their latest album Still The King. That album features many guest appearances from the likes of Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, The Avett Brothers, and Old Crow Medicine Show collaborating with the band on classic Texas Playboy songs. Of course as fate would have it, none of those performers were in town for SXSW, but Robert Earl Keen was, and he joined the band on “Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas.” Ray Benson led his bandmates through a few more selections off the latest album along with a few other numbers like their version of “Route 66″ and they all showed off some impressive instrumental skills.

Waterloo Records are notable for being one of the spots hosting all ages shows and while the audience for a Texas swing band that’s been around since the ’70s obviously skews towards the upper level of the age bracket, there really was a wide range of ages represented, ranging from families to a few teens and twentysomethings to the folks who probably remember seeing Asleep At The Wheel back in the day. This might suggest that Asleep At The Wheel have become something of an institution themselves. They may have started out as hippie-ish upstarts when they first got started, but at this point, they’ve become the standard bearers, keeping the music alive with a bit of flair and old school showmanship.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest

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